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The First Look review
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Since writing the review below I've now played through the game and had a good look at what's in it. Check out the updated review here.

We have had a Beta copy of the Rocky Interactive Horror Show PC Game for a few weeks now and this review is intended to be a 'First Impressions' report on the game. Please be very aware of the fact we were playing a BETA pre-production copy of the game and some aspects will change by the final release.

The object of the game is to free you loved one (Brad if you are playing as Janet, Janet if you are playing as Brad) before the house blasts of for Transylvania. For those of you that remember the old Sinclair Spectrum Rocky Horror Game this may sound familiar. There are some other similarities in the two games as well, when you bump into a character you tend to get your clothes stolen and placed in another room. Until you retrieve your clothes you cannot pick up new items as your hands are busy hiding your underwear from the world! You also need to collect pieces of what was the 'DeMedusa' device in the Spectrum version, in order to free your loved one before the clock hits zero. The Zen Room looks very familiar as well, lots of bouncing balls bring back memories. This is where the similarities end though!

In this game you are able to collect items and use them to solve puzzles, in fact it is essential that you do this in order to progress in the game and free your loved one. The sheer detail and size of the game is also quite a revelation. Due to my Beta copy not having the 'Save Game' option enabled, and without using a 'Cheat Sheet', I managed to solve only about ten of the eighty or so puzzles and visit around thirty different rooms. The 'Save Game' page has slots for ten separate 'save' positions and you'll need them, there is no way anyone who hasn't played to the end of the game before is going to complete it in one sitting. We plan to publish a 'Help' page on the site for those of you who get really stuck with a puzzle in the game.

Another thing that sets this game apart is the video clips that jump up at you every now and then, try answering the phone for some words of non-help from Richard O'Brien. The final production version should have even better quality video-clips than my Beta version, so it's unfair to review the quality of the video image here. There are also little sub areas of the game that allow you to access the additional features. The Juke Box allows you to play the AVI's of Richard singing TimeWarp, Sweet Transvestite and more. The game plays a selection of Rocky music in the background as you play, and even plays music as it installs itself onto your hard disc drive.

There is not much interaction with the other characters you meet, the most they tend to do is steal your clothing, Riff-Raff did however shoot me at one stage and I ended up recovering on a hospital bed, I also found myself in hospital when I pushed a button once too often. I don't know if this is due to the fact I didn't get far enough into the game or if it just the way they react to your character. Another thing I found to start with was your chosen game characters movement seemed a little slow. After playing the game for an hour or so it didn't seem to matter so much, maybe I'm just too used to playing Tomb Raider on my Play Station. Hmmmm, Lara Croft getting her clothes stolen by Columbia, sorry I got lost somewhere in another dimension there!

Another aspect of the games appeal to Rocky Fans is the various references hidden in the backgrounds, from a 'Hanley' production Rocky T-Shirt, through to the black & white bedroom and shower scenes (another Janet as I recall). The game is a great mix of references. I'm sure there will be people writing into our Guest Book and posting Chat and Newsgroup articles to say; 'In the second bedroom the curtains weren't the same as in the Rocky Horror Picture Show', but that's not the point, the Game is not 'The RHS' or 'The RHPS', it's just Rocky Horror in a different medium.

Overall I think the game will have a definite appeal to Rocky Fans the world over, whether it will have quite the same appeal to those 'virgins' that still exist out there, I'm not so sure. I'm sure the game will sell on the basis that it is 'Rocky Horror', rather than a quantum leap forward in game engine design or plot. From a fans point of view it's a winner, go to On-Line's site and pre-order your copy now.

David Freeman - TimeWarp Webmaster - 6th March 1999

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